Hey oh hey world-
Holy moly, I think my last post was more than a year ago.
Wait, yes it was. Because I see pictures of bunnies and fair food.
I was in Target (my second home) Sunday afternoon when I suddenly I felt the need to write again. Maybe it was the little Christmas tree wonderland, or the dozens of snowflake cookie cutters I passed that made me a bit nostalgic, but whatever it was, I’m glad I’m back to writing.
As I’m sitting here trying to decide how to open with this long-overdue post that only a handful of people–if any–are going to read, I figure I may as well begin with what I originally wanted the Nut Kase to be about:
Health & Happiness.
Since my appendectomy almost a year ago (RIP lil’ appendix!), I’ve struggled with some digestive issues that I think are mainly due to stress. Work stress. Friend stress. Life stress. While I had hoped to fix this with some simple remedies, I realized I probably needed to try a bit harder than taking more vitamins, running with my Couch to 5K app, and attending a yoga class a few times a month. :)
While home a few weeks ago, I ran into one of my old neighbors. In her cute cream knit sweater, with a sassy little Jenn-Aniston-In-Friends style haircut–she was absolutely glowing both inside and out. After sharing an encouraging story with me about her own health journey, she attributed her great results to the Paleo diet. Now, I use the word “diet” hesitantly, because I like to view this as more of a healthy life choice per se, than diet.
The key to Paleo? No processed food, grains, dairy, legumes or refined sugar. Just whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies, protein, good fats and complex carbs. Easy peasy.
After wanting to eat a handful of candy corn so bad it hurt, I finally made it through the sugar withdrawal and I am on my third week now of Paleo eating. And honestly, it’s been wonderful.
In just three short weeks, I feel a world better. That weighed-down, sluggish feeling is gone. And I’m proud of myself! Now I just need to get over my fear of the YMCA weight room to add in more strength-training exercises to my workout routine, and I’ll be set!
I’ll be honest, if you had asked me earlier in the year if I was happy, I probably would have told you it depends on the day. I think people tend to go through peaks and valleys in life, and earlier this year I was in a valley.
As I’ve begun to pick myself back up, I’ve realized there are plenty of things to be grateful for. I’m thankful that I have a job, a nice place to live and a kind, silly roommate. I’m thankful for the loving, unrelenting support from my friends and family. I’m thankful for God’s perfect, peaceful grace. And I am even thankful for this darn valley…because without it, I don’t think I’d be half as grateful to be where I am, nor would I be able to recognize how far I’ve come.
I recently found this quote on one of my many Pinterest binges, and I love it.
It’s a perfect reminder to enjoy what we have, because really, life is meant for living and loving. A little bit of stress and a few valleys aren’t the end of the world. :)
So, here’s a little show and tell of the happiness I’ve been finding lately.
Continuing to better myself and be thankful for all the little things that bring such joy to my life is an easy way to remember that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
I’m glad to back…Happy Monday!
PS–in case anyone is wondering, I did breakdown in Target in the Christmas cookie aisle–I have no willpower.
Saving these guys for a bake-athon in December!
Hello & happy Monday!
I hope your weekend was full of Halloween festivities and excitement! Mine kept me a lot busier than last weekend:
Haunted corn maze & getting the bejeezus scared out of me. Check.
Now, I am a big scaredy cat, but I LOVE getting scared. Scary movies are some of my favorites! And after walking the Field of Lost Souls, being chased by guys in scary masks, with loud chainsaws and shot guns and screaming my lungs out, I thought I was in the clear. Woo hoo, good scare! Time to go home! Wrong. Then came the haunted hay ride. And the haunted house. And scary clowns (getting scared by a creepy scary clown is the WORST). I basically screamed for 2 hours straight. My nerves were shot! :P
Fun time with the my awesome family. Check.
Saturday I spent time with my family in Chapel Hill, celebrating the beautiful life of my Great Uncle Chuck. It was so good to spend time with my Aunts, Uncles, cousins, brother, Nana and my dad.
Out in downtown Raleigh with new friends. Check.
No pictures…but I ran into my cousin while out, which was a nice surprise!
NC State Fair–getting my fill of fried food and barnyard animal cuteness. Check.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves :)
After getting our fill of prize-winning produce and animal cuteness, we moved on to more serious things. Like deep-fried food. I went to the fair with my friend Sarah, and we split some deep-fried red velvet oreos–which were freakin-awesome-good. :) But there were so many other crazy options to choose from. The craziest? The Krispie Kreme burger. Yes, a cheese burger with two Krispie Kreme doughnuts used for a bun. Holy heart attack.
Having to hunt down my car because it got towed during the Fair. Check. Boo.
The last little bit of my weekend was spent finding my little Jeep, after it had been towed because I may or may not have parked in a movie theater parking lot to avoid paying $10 for Fair parking. While Sarah and I waited for Rachel to come scoop us up (thanks Rach for saving the day!), we did what any good parking rebels would do, and ate a bag of cotton candy.
Now that I’ve loaded up on sugar for the week, I’ll have plenty of energy to get back to running and begin some more of my cross fit classes this week! I also can’t wait to MAKE MY HALLOWEEN costume!
Well have a marvelous Monday! :)
Hey hey hey everyone!
Happy Hump day! I hope your week has been fantastic-awesome-super-wonderful. Or at least good!
Mine has kept me busy! I had a pretty fun photoshoot with all my construction guys in Winston-Salem. And after
lots of teasing loaning me a helmet, goggles, and boots, they toured me around the facility. Nothing like wearing some pink and a pair of Men’s size-13 steel toed boots to tour my first job site :)
Because life’s been so busy, it’s been great having meals prepared. All that I have to do in the evenings is pop a little container in the microwave and voila! I’ve got a healthy meal :)
One of my fav Sunday-prep meals: MEATBALLS. And the best thing about them–they’re healthy, GREEN (yes, green), super tasty and versatile. After being inspired by a few other veggie meatball recipes, I decided to create my own…and they’re pretty good!
Zucchini Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey (I like cooking with the 93/7)
- 1/2 large zucchini, shredded
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp italian seasoning (I’ve also thought of adding in a few sprinkles of dry ranch dressing mix…that would be DELISH)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
- Optional: 1 tsp dijon mustard or a pinch of cayenne–I’ve tried both seperately and loved the extra zing
- Preheat the oven to 400* and set a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet. Spray the rack generously with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine turkey, shredded zucchini, chopped onion, garlic, egg, and worcestershire sauce. Give it all a good “mush” with a spatula.
- Then sprinkle italian seasonings, salt and pepper and breadcrumbs on top of the meat mixture, and combine gently with your hands. Be sure not to over mix!
- Roll meat into 12-15 balls and place on rack.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes. Enjoy!!
These work so well on top of spaghetti squash with some spicy arrabiatta sauce!
and of course lots of cheese. They also freeze and reheat really well. YUM-O!
How do you like to add in veggies to your meals?? Not all of my experiments work…my college roommates and I attempted a “green soup” once by simply throwing in every vegetable we had in our pantry/freezer into a pot and added a bit of chicken stock. It was bright green. And gross. :) oh well #kitchenfail.
If you try these meatballs, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Hope you have a wonderful rest of your hump day!
Good morning and happy Monday (as happy as a Monday can be….)!!
Today I am headed to Winston-Salem on my first job road trip! I get to visit some work friends on a job site and play stylist as they have their professional headshots taken. Really, I just need to make sure they all look good in their shots. Nothing like telling a bunch of construction guys to smile pretty :D !
I had a nice weekend that was full of me time, which was a
weird nice twist. It was one of those…ok…what do I do now? kind of weekends. Here’s some of the shenanigans I got into:
Two long jogs and a walk with my roomie. The weather was so nice on Sunday I couldn’t help but head out before church. I also downloaded some new music from Darius Rucker, Gavin Degraw and Sara Bareilles–quite the combo of singers, I realize–but new songs are the best to jog to! At one point I caught myself actually singing while jogging. Good thing it was early….
Sunday I went to church and it was so chilly out that I FINALLY got to put on some tights! I tried taking a cute “oh hey look at my put together outfit” pic. Except I always feel awkward taking selfies. And for some reason this is my default selfie face…
Hence no good outfit/selfie/put-together pic. Oh well :)
And the number one thing I get into with a lot of free time and a little bit of boredom? Cooking.
I started off with a little baking late Saturday night. You can never go wrong when trying to re-create a childhood fav at 11pm (scratch that…it can totally go wrong…but this pinterest recipe was a total winner).
They were AMAZING. So amazing I think I ate half the batter. Hence all the walks and jogs. :)
Sunday I got back to my usual healthy eats and prepped my meals for the week. White chicken chili and turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash.
I love food prepping for the week! It’s so nice to be able to come home and just reheat a little somthin-somthing for dinner than have to create something from scratch. And this week I start my crossfit training, so by the time I get home I know I’ll be STARVING.
Do you prepare your meals for the week ahead of time or do you like to wing it for dinner time?
Have a great rest of your day!
It’s hump day!
The fall is one of our busiest seasons at work. But before things begin to pile up, we had our annual company golf outing yesterday. It was great to spend the day hanging out with friends and working on our golf game (or in my case, the lack thereof :) ).
I used to think golf was a game for leisure. But good grief–I am so tired! It takes such concentration and focus. Golf is a SPORT, no joke. I may have hit the ball 20% of the time. The rest of the time I was aerating the greenway! And in fact I was aerating so hard that my arms are pretty fatigued. Whew! Tough day at work ;)
I even wore my lucky teal zebra socks to bring me some good mojo. What good that did…
After golfing my little heart out, I came home for a big bowl of veggie soup. I’ve been working to tweak my recipe, but can’t quite put my finger on what’s missing. Until I figure it out, check out the recipe that inspired my experimenting: Oh She Glow’s Luxurious Vegetable and Cheese Soup. If you’ve never had pumpkin seeds in your soup, put it on your to do list. You’re missing out.
Anywho–I hope you enjoy your hump day!
I think it’s been almost half a year since my last post and wow has my life changed. It’s funny–I wish someone would have sat me down after graduating college and told me “You better hang on real tight because you’re about to be in for a heck of a ride!”
But hey, after finding a great job, settling into Raleigh and my new apartment, and meeting new friends, I’m finally finding my footing, And it feels wonderful :) I fell in love with this quote from Pinterest last week…it just made sense:
Anyways, over the past few months I’ve been on an early morning jog kick. But it’s been so dark out lately that I find myself either tripping over my two left feet (in my defense we run around a lake with lots of gravel and things that can make a klutz trip… :) ) or being so scared of eating the pavement that I just end up power walking. Until daylight savings time, I’m left with hitting my path after work.
I’m also going to get back into CrossFitting for the next couple of weeks (thanks to Groupon and my CrossFit buddy Mike!). And I CAN’T WAIT! :)
Well I just got in from a long wedding weekend. One of my best friends, Erin, got married in a cute bike-themed wedding. My girls and I had so much fun!
But it’s back to the grind and I’m working on perfecting a 7 Veggie Soup recipe that I’ll hopefully post a little later in the week.
Happy Monday! It’s good to be back!
Happy hump day! Friday is in sight!
I’ve been on a low-carb, grain-free kick lately. So of course, what is the one thing I crave all the time? Carbs. Pasta. Bread.
So I wanted to brainstorm a healthy version of a carb-o-loaded dish. What’s the first dish that came to mind?
A big ol’ bowl of spaghetti.
And after a handful of experiments for creative ways to make healthy spaghetti, it’s finally hit me.
What does a big bowl of spaghetti need?
But these aren’t just any meatballs. These are cheese stuffed. Yes, mozzarella stuffed, flavorful awesomeness.
The title is a mouthful, but don’t let that scare you. These little babies are easy to cook up!
Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground chicken breast
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. Italian herb blend (I also used some fresh basil from my herb garden!)
- a few pinches of salt and pepper
- 4 part-skim mozzarella string cheese sticks, cut into cubes (4 cubes/stick)
- grated parmesan cheese for topping
- Preheat oven 400*F and grease muffin tins.
- Mince onion and pepper (I did a few quick pulses in my food processor).
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the string cheese. I used my hands to mix!
- Place 1 small spoonful of the meatball mixture into the palm of your hand, and press down lightly to form a small circle.
6. Press edges down with your fingers and roll lightly between the palms of your hands to maintain the circular shape. Place one meatball in each muffin well.
7. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake for 25-30 min.
Serve with zucchini pasta (aka shredded zucchini) and top with pasta sauce. I love Muir Glen Organic!
Makes 18 meatballs, or 6 servings.
Per serving: 181 calories, 4g carbs, 8g fat, 24g protein
Protein packed, flavor-filled. YUM!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!